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Capstone Projects

Home Grown Kitchen - A study of how easy or difficult it is to use Farm-to-Table for a large catering event in the Adirondack's in the spring season with baking and pastry applications

Fri, 05/06/2016 - 17:00
Abstract: Cassie Brown and I catered the Boomerang alumni networking event on campus on April 7th. Our capstone questions was “how easy or difficult is it to cater an event in the Adirondacks in the springtime using Farm-to-Table with baking and pastry applications.” We learned that it is difficult, but not by any means impossible. Catering is something that Cassie and I are both interested in so this topic was perfect for us. Cassis and I were able to help connect local farmers with local customers, raise Farm-to-Table awareness, meet and interact with alumni, and show the Paul Smith’s College community our skills and what we have learned throughout our four years here at Paul Smith’s College.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: Off
Major: Baking Arts and Service Management
Year: 2016
Authors: Victoria Gregory

Home Grown Kitchen: Catering Boomerang

Fri, 05/06/2016 - 17:11
Abstract: Home Grown Kitchen is a baking capstone project that is focused around farm-to-table and the Adirondack cuisine. The Adirondack cuisine has a prominent focus on farm-to-table, and we wanted to incorporate that into catering the Boomerang event. Boomerang is an event that is held on campus to network future graduates of Paul Smith’s College with alumni. Farm-to-table seemed to be appropriate for alumni coming back into the Adirondack park. By using local farms and vendors we were able to create a solid menu that would be appealing to everyone, and easily eaten while mingling with students and alumni. The main question is whether farm-to-table in the Adirondacks is easy or difficult, while using baking applications. By contacting local vendors, researching what grows during the seasons, and having conversations with chefs on campus to help us along the way, Boomerang had becoming a successful event to cater.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: Off
Major: Baking Arts and Service Management
Year: 2016
File Attachments: Catering Boomerang
Authors: Cassie Brown

A Study of Pure and Artificial Maple Syrup Production

Sun, 05/08/2016 - 22:40
Abstract: Many people claim that they can tell the difference between pure and artificial maple syrup. However, pure and artificial maple syrup are made through two completely different processes. Through the method of a blind taste test, I want to answer the question whether or not consumers can in fact tell the difference between pure and artificial maple syrup when both served as is or baked into products through a catered breakfast. At the catered breakfast the following dishes were served: maple glazed doughnuts, breakfast casserole, sausage gravy and biscuits, pancakes with maple butter and maple syrup, vanilla and maple yogurt, and sliced fruit. There were two options to choose from for the maple glazed doughnuts, maple butter, maple syrup, and maple yogurts. One choice was made with pure maple syrup, the second choice was made with artificial maple syrup; the consumers did not know which option was made with which maple syrup. At the end of the breakfast, I asked each guest to complete a survey that would let me know which option they believed to be made with the pure maple syrup and which option they believed to be made with the artificial maple syrup.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: On
Major: Baking Arts and Service Management
Year: 2016
File Attachments: Final Written Paper.pdf
Authors: Amanda Gail Wetter

Do consumers prefer American ice cream opposed to international ice cream?

Thu, 05/12/2016 - 18:10
Abstract: Do people tend to pick American flavors of ice cream or international flavors of ice cream? I did a study trying to answer this question. I used a survey to develop results and learn information about ice cream and other frozen desserts. By making ice cream from different countries, I was able to answer my questions. Through research and holding an event, I retained information to tell me if consumers prefer American or international flavors of ice cream.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: On
Major: Baking Arts and Service Management
Year: 2016
File Attachments: Capstone paper.doc
Authors: Abigail Pinault

Forest Structure and Composition in the Smitty Creek Watershed

Wed, 12/14/2016 - 09:56
Abstract: The 2016 Smitty Creek CFI (Continuous Forest Inventory) study addressed the issue of creating a reliable and repeatable inventory design to examine general forestry trends and their relationships with the watershed itself. Identifying these trends and their consequences is important when considering factors linked to climate change, such as carbon storage and allocation. The objective of this project were as follows: establish 10 new CFI plots, monitor and record for signs of disease and insects, tree mortality, and overstory wildlife habitat, accurately estimate forest carbon sequestration, record understory composition in a 1/50th acre area around each plot center, and suggest methods and reasons for application in Paul Smith’s College CFI capstone projects. The study was conducted within the Smitty Creek watershed in Paul Smiths, NY with the plots falling on a transect that runs north and south. At each plot, trees within the radius were assigned numbered aluminum tags, trees were measured at diameter at breast height, and other features, such as snags, were recorded. Upon completing the project, 10 CFI plots had been created and their locations were recorded, several diseases and forest health concerns were identified, as well as, tree mortality and wildlife habitat considerations, carbon sequestration for the watershed was modeled over the next century, and a CFI project was designed for the Paul Smith’s College land compartments. The Smitty Creek watershed CFI project is repeatable and has an accurate baseline of information for future studies, and the Paul Smith’s College land compartments CFI plot design is ready for implementation.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: On
Major: Environmental Sciences, Fisheries and Wildlife Science, Forestry
Year: 2016
Authors: Gregg Slezak, Leonard Johnson, William O'Reilly, Jake Weber, Charlie Ulrich, Collin Perkins McCraw, Jake Harm, Nick Georgelas

An Assessment of Heavy Metal Concentrations in Adirondack Waterfowl

Thu, 04/28/2016 - 22:53
Abstract: We analyzed heavy metal concentrations in waterfowl liver and breast tissue from ducks harvested within the Adirondack Park from October 3 to November 13, 2015. Interspecific, intersex, and feeding behavior variation in heavy metal concentrations were assessed. Waterfowl from two feeding behavior groups (diving and dabbling) were harvested from the watershed within a 50 mile radius of Paul Smith’s, New York. Harvested waterfowl species included mallard (Anas platyrhynchos), American black duck (Anas rubripes), common merganser (Mergus merganser), ring-necked duck (Aythya collaris), bufflehead (Bucephala albeola), and hooded merganser (Lophodytes cucullatus). Legal harvest of these species during regulated New York State duck hunting season allows for permissible use of internal organs for heavy metal determination. Dry weight (mg/kg) of digested liver and breast tissue samples were analyzed using atomic absorption spectroscopy. Due to unknown laboratory error, absolute concentration values were inaccurate, thus, rendering accurate analyses unfeasible. However, relative observable trends were able to be assessed given our data’s high precision. Analyte concentrations were significantly greater in liver tissues and there were significant differences between species. Variation in mercury, lead, bismuth, cadmium, chromium, and zinc concentrations in waterfowl serve as an indicator of the presence, cycling, bioaccumulation, and temporal trends of these metals in northeastern aquatic habitats.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: Off
Major: Environmental Sciences, Fisheries and Wildlife Science
Year: 2016
File Attachments: Final2.docx
Authors: Brandon Snavely, Lewis Lolya

Rooted Education: learning from aquaponics

Sat, 04/30/2016 - 15:02
Abstract: Aquaponics is the integration of soil-less agriculture (hydroponics) within closed-loop aquaculture systems to reduce the toxic accumulation of nutrient waste from aquatic animals. Bacteria naturally establish to purify water by oxidizing the ammonia secreted by fish, which reduces the toxicity of effluent while creating a usable nitrogen source for plants. The conversion of ammonia and nitrite into nitrate by living bacteria communities is called a biological filter, or biofiltration (FAO 2014). Aquaponics would not be possible without biofiltration; the slightest amount of ammonia would be fatally toxic to fish, and plants wouldn't receive the nitrates they need to grow. There are unique opportunities offered by an aquaponics system to learn about ecological and human communities. 1.1. Aquaponics enables users to grow fish and agricultural plants with limited space and resource use (water, soil, and time). This enables an aquaponics user to invest less physical energy and time into expanding sustainable food resources for their household use. 1.2. A small aquaponics system could promote cultural values of self-sufficiency, energy consciousness, and connection to food systems. It could inspire individual efforts to produce food for one’s household, to build healthier and more resilient systems, and a greater appreciation for farming. Therefore, this project aims to actualize a mobile and functional aquaponics system for the educational benefit of the Paul Smith's College community. I will provide the background knowledge needed to maintain an aquaponics system, as well as describe the general concept of aquaponics design.
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Literary Rights: On
Major: Environmental Sciences, Natural Resources Sustainability Studies
Year: 2016
File Attachments: The Author has selected not to publish this complete work.
Authors: Brian Jason Kohan

Outward Bound semester: Skills to last a life time

Wed, 12/14/2016 - 10:44
Abstract: The focus of this study will examine the level at which an Outward Bound semester fosters personal growth, connection with nature, and hard skills. This particular Outward Bound semester course traveled from the Florida Keys then on to Costa Rica and Panama in Central America. The course focused on the water elements of sailing, surfing, whitewater rafting, scuba diving, and sea kayaking. Methods used include personal journal reflections, peer and instructors oral and written responses. The researcher was an active participant in the immersive experience and kept a journal of the entire experience trying to gather as much information about the course itself and reflecting on the research process throughout. This research indicated that this experience developed personal character and a connection with nature. These skills have an impact deeper than an isolated course with Outward Bound but can be transferred to daily life.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: Off
Major: Recreations, Adventure Travel and Ecotourism, Recreation, Adventure Education and Leisure Management, Parks, Recreation and Facilities Management
Year: 2016
Authors: Sam Annable

Analysis of common water sampling techniques used to assess lake trophic state

Sat, 12/05/2015 - 00:21
Abstract: Volunteer lake management programs (VLMPs) across the country employ different surface water sampling techniques to establish long-term trends in nutrient availability and trophic state. The three most common techniques are a surface grab (SG), 2m integrated tube sampler (IT), and a discrete sampler, such as a Van Dorn or Kemmerer bottle deployed to a depth of 1.5m (DD). These various sampling techniques vary not only in depth, but also in cost and ease of use. The objectives of my study are to 1) determine if there is a statistical difference in chlorophyll-a (chl-a) and total phosphorus (TP) concentration obtained between the three different sampling techniques, 2) determine if the treatment effect (sampling device) varies over time, 3) determine which method has the least amount of variability, and 4) determine if sampling technique ultimately influences trophic state classification. The study was conducted on Upper St. Regis Lake, Paul Smiths, New York. I collected 10 samples from the lake using the three different techniques during the months of June – August, 2015. I found a significant difference in chlorophyll-a concentration between sampling techniques during June and July, and during the month of July for TP. The three sampling techniques yielded similar variability for chlorophyll-a but significantly different variability for TP. Ultimately, the trophic status rating for Upper St. Regis was not effected by sampling technique. My study suggests that VLMP should utilize a SG or IT rather than a costly DD sampler.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: On
Major: Environmental Sciences
Year: 2015
Authors: Hunter Favreau

Interpreter's Guide to the Finger Lakes Trail

Wed, 04/29/2015 - 21:44
Abstract: Guidebooks help hikers to navigate trail systems and gain a better understanding of their surroundings. Many types of guides exist for popular long distance hiking trails such as the Appalachian Trail, the Pacific Crest Trail, and the Continental Divide Trail. The Finger Lakes Trail (FLT) runs 558 miles across the base of New York State, yet has very little associated literature. I hiked a 52 mile section of the Finger Lakes Trail from Ellicottville to Portageville in western New York. Using observations from the trail and related literature, I wrote an interpretive guide for this section. My FLT interpretive guide covers topics related to planning and packing for a multiday backpacking trip, natural history of western New York forests, the story of the development of the FLT system, and backpacking ethics. This work will help satisfy the human need to acquire knowledge and potentially enrich the experience of FLT hikers.
Access: Yes
Literary Rights: Off
Major: Environmental Sciences
Year: 2015
Authors: Jennifer Maguder